Rygh's 250 gallon upgrade

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by rygh, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Lots of plumbing work done in the fish room (garage) this weekend.
    But still all in pieces, so nothing worth a picture.

    I learned something though:
    1) Pick just two sizes of pipe, and stick to it.
    2) Do NOT use 1.25" plumbing.

    I foolishly optimized the flow and plumbing size.
    So I have 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", and 1-1/2" here, there, and everywhere.
    Saved some money, but caused a lot more trips the the hardware store and other hassles.
    And finding the correct 1.25" fittings has proven to be a royal pain.
    More than once, I have had to go both to Lowes + OSH, because each carries slightly different things,
    and then of course, sometimes in small amounts so they are out.
    Anyone near union city have a 1.25" sch 80 union, slip-slip? Grr, still looking.
    I even had to special order 1.25" hose fittings.

    In retrospect, I really should have done everything in 1" or 1.5".

    Glad I did not even try to do Sched-80 on everything. That would have made it about 10X worse.
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Something else you should have learned is to ditch the idea of sch 80 piping/fittings. You're paying for how good your plumbing looks, and as you found out can't always find the right sized pieces :)
  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I guess I forgot to list the "no sch-80" idea.
    The only reason I am using sch-80 unions is because that is pretty much all you can find.
    Even the white ones at Lowes are really sch-80.
    Nothing else is sch-80.

    I have been tempted at times to use the grey electrical PVC conduit. Very handy to use the nicely bent long radius
    corner pieces that they have. But no idea if they are aquarium compatible, and they sure have a terrible
    smell when cutting them, so I worry.
  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Regarding sch-80 and my plan:

    I had really thought about using mostly schedule 80 this time, even though I tried a bit on my last tank,
    and had issues finding things at specialty stores.
    The extra reliability, lower likelihood of cracking/shattering, UV resistance, etc, is worth quite a bit.
    Especially with pipes that are inside the walls of my house.
    But when I started listing all the parts and pieces, and realized how uncertain I was on all the bends/adapters/etc,
    and on how expensive things get if you order a lot extra, I simply gave up.
    I think the biggest issue was schedule. Bad enough to lose an hour driving around, but to lose a week
    or so if you have to order something would be terrible.
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well don't forget sch 40 is compatible with sch80, so you can swap parts out if you are unable to find them. The difference between the two is pressure ratings which you will never come close to with your aquarium, sch80 also is a smaller inside diameter so when it comes to pumps you will lose some flow. As to the cracking/shatter/uv resistances, I can dig that, but then again if its inside your walls how much UV is it going to get? :)

    Everyone has a different plan, and there's often nothing wrong with different ideas. Gimmito for instance went with sch80 as well, ordered tons of parts, but then again he's on the 5 year plan for getting his aquarium up so he does have time to waste/spare/etc :D
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I could use some power-head / flow advice!

    To review : I have a 240 Gallon tank, planning SPS in the middle area, with LPS/softies toward the ends.
    As such, I need a lot of flow in the middle, less on the ends.

    There are really two parts to the planned flow.

    There is about 3000 GPH, very low velocity, distributed from pipes at the very top back, facing forward across surface.
    These are the returns from the filters, so mostly gravity fed and slow.
    This will set up a bit of a "forward gyre". But since low velocity, not that much. Helpful for surface agitation though.
    SEE pipes on drawing.

    The second part will be power head based.
    Four on back, facing in pairs toward each other. Two on the front, facing toward the back.
    Probably in the 1000 GPH range each. Perhaps Hydor Evolution.
    See arrows on drawing.

    That ends up being 9000 GPH total, so about 40X.
    If the gyre does get going, that multiplies the flow quite a bit.

    I was not planning on making any of the pumps controllable. Relying on jet collision for randomness.

    I am also thinking of making the front (back facing) ones much larger, and controllable with maybe a 10 minute period.
    When off, the others get the gyre going. Then they crank on, disrupting the gyre, and pushing in the opposite direction.
    And maybe off at night.
    Angled directly toward the SPS, but from about 3 feet away.
    Maybe tunze 6125, 3000 GPH each

    Thoughts? Good/Crazy?
    Advice on which power heads to use/avoid?
    (I do not have clearance for MP40s)

    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/tank_flow.jpg
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well for a tank of that size I would not want to use 1000 gph pumps. Go big, 2-3000gph range, if you don't want controllable Tunze does make a non-controlled version of their stream which is quite a bit cheaper than their controlled version (and still pushes the same water). Only place I might go with smaller pumps are the two at the front corners pointing back, simply because near the front of the tank you'll want as small a foot print as possible for viewing, in reality I wouldn't put pumps there at all and just let the forward blowing current create the chaos off the glass.

    If you don't want to spend Tunze/Vortech money there are definitely alternatives that are significantly cheaper, but the last thing I'd think you want is to have a bunch of smaller pumps in the tank when a couple/few big ones could do the work as well.
  8. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    Vortech is a great way to go for flow.
    Low power consumption and variable speeds.
    Very versatile.
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I do not have room on the outside of the tank for Vertechs. No clearance to the wall (alcove).

    I like the idea of simply just having the large flow from the back corners. Even though you cannot view from the sides, those pumps
    near the front sure would be ugly. I think I might be over-engineering the flow.

    My main theory on multiple smaller pumps: You end up with a wider flow, instead of a single powerful point flow.
    You can also point each one in slightly different direction, and they are cheaper and more efficient.
    Downside is bulkier, and they have issues with thick acrylic, although I was going to mount them to the overflow anyway.
    So yes, outside magnet gets wet. Not an issue with Tunze. Need to check on Koralia.

    My latest crazy idea:
    The central SPS section will be on a raised acrylic box-ish thing. I was thinking of putting lots of small holes in that, and
    sending one of the filter returns into that. Result would be a fair amount of water coming up and out from underneath the SPS.
    Tricky to maintain though.
  10. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Guest

    Sorry may have been talked about earlier but I dont feel like going throught the entire thread to look, are you going to have a sand bed? If so how tall? The reason I ask is beuse if you are have you considered doing strictly a closed loop system in tht tank? I am thinking in terms of what Paul Whitby and Steve Weast did in there large systems whith use pvc tubing running throught the bottom of the tank up into the rock formations and out creating random flow without having to look at power heads.
  11. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Yes, I am going to have a sand bed, but shallow, only about 3/4" to 1" deep.
    Interesting idea about rock pile closed loop.
    I had originally gone away from close loop due to power consumption, and not wanting yet more big pipes in my wall.
    I will try to find some notes on that system.
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    IME flow is really important, however you need to treat it like an evolving beast as corals grow they will drastically affect the flow rate. In my tank I had 3 vortechs along the back and for a while they were perfect, however as SPS corals grew they caused dead spots, some corals died back, algae/diatom growth on some tips so I opted change the flow.
  13. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Hey it's a 2 year plan bud ! Anyways....as a guy who is using schedule 80, I liked the fact that it does insulate better, is thicker, & is just plain better to look at. ;)
    Bulk Reef Supply has every fitting you would need and accepts returns on unused items (watch out for there 20% off sales on them).
    doing a manifold with lots of outlets. This will allow me to change flow as needed as corals grow and whatnot. You can always use tunzes w/a artificial rock they make to conceal it.
  14. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    No 1.25" fittings, which is what I need. (Never again)
    Nice prices though.
  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    New dosing pumps and containers in.
    The usual BRS cocktail.
    I actually built some super-cheap DIY dosers a few years ago, but after another pump bit the dust, I decided
    to splurge, and buy some real dosing pumps.
    So two brand new Drews Dosers.
    I did add a small anti-siphon Tee, just for safety, although with 4 rollers, unlikely to be an issue.

    The top-off is a bit more complex.
    There will be a different much larger reservoir, where I pump a bit more than needed once a day or so,
    into the smaller top-off section, shown on shelf. That top-off goes into the main sump with the usual float valve.
    That way, if the float valve fails, not a big deal.


    [img width=144 height=115]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_eaxg2H-5-nk/TLagPHZp1-I/AAAAAAAAAII/T5uaJLqD1rs/s144/dosers.jpg[/img]

    From Aquarium_Release

  16. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member


    Here are 3 x Quiet One 4000 pumps.

    They are in a bucket for a reason.
    Part is to catch all the water that invariably pours out when you disconnect things.
    But really, the plan is to keep the bucket full of water at times.
    That will help dissipate heat from the pumps, and drive it into the air/ground, instead of the tank.
    Although it is possible I may only do that in the summer, and actually insulate it in the winter.
    It also completely eliminates the noise, but since these are in the garage, I don't actually care.


    [img width=144 height=108]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_eaxg2H-5-nk/TLfrATpfrYI/AAAAAAAAAIg/12cRGVu2bo8/s144/pump_zone.jpg[/img]

    From Aquarium_Release

  18. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    I had a similiar conversation with another buddy who had 1 1/4" holes. I suggested stepping up to 1 1/2", gives more flow and easier to find parts. ;)
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    The search for Thorite
    Gimmoto and I have both been looking for the special cement to use for bonding live rock together.
    MarcoRocks sells it, but it is $41 for a measly 10 pounds with shipping.

    So I was looking for Thorite-equivalent at Lowes, and they do seem to have a quickcrete version.
    About $9 for 10 pounds, and about $7 for a big bottle of Acryl bonding agent. Didn't buy any yet though.


    This is the quickcrete version:
    • Silica Sand, crystalline
    • Portland Cement
    • Amorphous Silica
    • Calcium Sulfate
    • Lime
    • Fly Ash
    • Calcium Aluminate Cement
    • Clay
    • Pulverized Limestone

      This is the Emaco R400 version.
      • crystalline silica
      • Cement, portland, chemicals
        Cement, alumina, chemicals
        Iron oxide
        Calcium sulphate
        Titanium dioxide

      Thorite on the other hand has

      Silica, quartz
      Calcium carbonate
      Portland cement
      Calcium aluminate
      Calcium Sulfate
    With no mention of lime or limestone.

    In theory, we want to avoid that Lime/limestone, which is why I wanted Thorite.
    Otherwise we need to soak it forever, or it will really mess with the PH.
    But I am pretty sure that Marcorocks sells the Emaco stuff, so I am confused.

    Maybe I will just use epoxy.
  20. iani

    iani Guest

    I used Sakrete leak stopper cement (hydraulic cement). People say the hydraulic cements leach the least. My first post shows what I did with it my tank journal.

Share This Page